Lawyers & Professionals

Firm Overview

Instead of trying to be everything to everybody, we’ve made a name for ourselves by delivering what our clients need most: in-depth, hands-on legal counsel throughout the financial services sector — and beyond.

Get to know us

Firm News

There’s a lot going on at Schulte — we’re wrapping up high-profile matters, welcoming talented new lawyers, speaking on issues that affect our clients, and more.

Read all about it

Pro Bono

Throughout our history, Schulte has provided comprehensive pro bono services to local and national nonprofit organizations. Today, we serve more than 50 nonprofits and work to advance a variety of social justice causes.

Learn more

Diversity and Inclusion

Inside the firm, we work hard to attract diverse, talented lawyers and encourage their career growth and advancement. And outside the office, we’re active in volunteer drives and local initiatives that support women and minorities’ professional success.

See what we’re up to

Alumni

If you’re a current or former Schulte lawyer, join our Alumni Network on LinkedIn to stay connected with old friends, make new contacts, and share your successes, ideas and insights.

Stay in touch

Social Responsibility

We take doing “good work” seriously — whether we’re talking about our high ethical standards or the way in which we foster a positive and inclusive culture for our personnel and support local communities.

See how we work

Offices

  • New York

    • 919 Third Avenue
    • New York, NY 10022
    • United States of America
      • +1 212.756.2000 Phone
      • +1 212.593.5955 Fax
  • Washington, DC

    • 901 Fifteenth Street, NW, Suite 800
    • Washington, DC 20005
    • United States of America
      • +1 202.729.7470 Phone
      • +1 202.730.4520 Fax
  • London

    • One Eagle Place
    • London SW1Y 6AF
    • United Kingdom
      • +44 (0) 20 7081 8000 Phone
      • +44 (0) 20 7081 8010 Fax

On July 22, 2019, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a joint statement reaffirming their risk-based approach to their examinations of banks’ Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (“BSA/AML”) compliance programs (“Joint Statement”).[1]

The Joint Statement does not establish new requirements for banks, but emphasizes the Agencies’ ongoing commitment to risk-focused safety and soundness examinations. The Joint Statement is intended to increase transparency in the planning and performance of BSA/AML examinations.

BSA/AML Compliance Programs and Risk Profiles

The Joint Statement reiterates that banks are required to establish and maintain risk-based BSA/AML compliance programs to ensure compliance with the BSA. These programs are statutorily subject to review by federal banking agencies during each examination cycle. Each bank is examined based on its individual risk profile, in addition to the bank’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and the examination scope may therefore vary.

The Agencies advised against declining banking services to entire categories of risky customers and instead “encouraged” banks to mitigate risks with effective controls. A comprehensive risk assessment is a critical step in developing those controls.

Risk-Focused Examinations

The Joint Statement highlights that federal banking agencies gauge a bank’s individual risk profile in order to tailor the scope of the examination, as they tend to allocate more resources to higher risk areas. Factors contributing to this evaluation include the bank’s own BSA/AML risk assessment, independent audits and conclusions from previous examinations, among other information sources. The federal banking agencies may also contact the bank between examinations and consider the bank’s ability to identify, measure, monitor and control risk.

The Joint Statement is the third statement resulting from a working group formed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, FinCEN and the federal banking agencies, aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the BSA/AML regime in the United States. On Oct. 3, 2018, the Agencies issued an Interagency Statement on Sharing Bank Secrecy Act Resources, noting that depository institutions may enter into collaborative arrangements to share resources to manage their BSA/AML compliance obligations more efficiently and effectively.[2] On Dec. 3, 2018, the Agencies issued a Joint Statement on Innovative Efforts to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, emphasizing the importance of innovation in the private sector and the Agencies’ commitment to engaging with banks in promoting such innovation.[3]

Authored by Donald J. Mosher, Joseph P. Vitale, Betty Santangelo, Melissa G.R. Goldstein and Malka Levitin.

If you have any questions concerning this Alert, please contact your attorney at Schulte Roth & Zabel or one of the authors.


[1] Joint Statement on Risk-Focused Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (July 22, 2019), available here.

[2] Interagency Statement on Sharing Bank Secrecy Act Resources (Oct. 3, 2018), available here.

[3] Joint Statement on Innovative Efforts to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Dec. 3, 2018), available here.


This communication is issued by Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this publication may be considered attorney advertising. ©2019 Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

All rights reserved. SCHULTE ROTH & ZABEL is the registered trademark of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.